See Where Kyle Stands On The Issues!

Healthcare

Now more than ever we are seeing the need for change in the way our healthcare system is run. Private insurance companies make billions of dollars a year by acting as a middle man and denying people with preexisting conditions coverage. Pharmaceutical companies make billions by price-gouging lifesaving drugs like insulin and EpiPens.

 

I have treated patients who lost their homes from medical debt. I have treated patients who end up in the ICU because they can’t afford to take their medications and end up in DKA, hypertensive crisis, or so many other medical emergencies. Part of this can be addressed by focusing on preventative care; making sure everyone can see a health care provider for check-ups and health screenings. The other part can’t be fixed in our current system. No one should lose their home or have to file for bankruptcy because they sought medical care. 

 

That is why I support Medicare for All. No one should have to worry about if they can afford to seek emergency medical treatment in the most developed country on Earth. Patients shouldn’t have to ration medication or skip doses.  

 

The administrative cuts associated with Medicare for All would save an estimated $600 billion a year (nationally). The savings on prescription drugs would be an estimated $200 billion a year (nationally). This is money that could be reinvested into rural healthcare.

 

In Oklahoma, I will introduce nurse-to-patient ratio legislation to protect our healthcare workers and to work towards better outcomes for our hospital patients. This model of legislation has proven to decrease the length of stay in the hospital due to the increased time nurses can spend with each patient. This ratio has also been proven to save money in the budgets because it improves safety and decreases the amount of additional care required. 

 

Education

Our public school teachers need to be better paid and to have their classrooms fully funded but we can't stop there. Education support staff are a vital part of the education system and they have been overlooked in the education discussion recently. We must invest in our education system at all levels so our children have the best chance at success in the classroom.

No child should go hungry, especially not while at school. We need to fully fund school breakfast and lunch for all students, regardless of parental income level.

 

Criminal Justice

I will introduce legislation to end our contracts with for-profit prisons.

I will support legislation to end all mandatory minimum sentencing, which contributes to overcrowded and underfunded prisons with little focus on rehabilitation.

I believe a rehabilitative model should be implemented so our incarcerated population is ready to fully reintegrate with society upon release. We need to end the cycle of repeat incarceration and work to keep families together.

I will support legislation like SB 252 that aims to reduce the pretrial jail population by allowing "recognizance bonds," or a promise from the defendant to appear in court without the use of bail money.

 

Gun Safety

I will support legislation that ends open carry and requires a license to carry a gun in Oklahoma. In addition, I will also support red flag laws, universal background checks for all gun purchases, and safe storage incentives.

 

Environment

Climate change is real and it is caused by human activity.

I pledge not to take contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.

I will support legislation that aims to expand on our renewable energy infrastructure such as H.B. 2095, which extends tax credits from 2020 to 2026 for electric vehicles and public EV charging stations.

I will oppose legislation designed to restrict local governments ability to determine their own oil & gas regulations such as H.B. 2150, which "Makes local communities liable for damages if their local regulations interfere with, adversely impact or prohibit access to

oil and gas."

 

Equality

We need to provide protection under the law for all Oklahomans. I will support non-discrimination legislation and fight for our LGBT+ community.

 

Economy

Oklahoma has cut income taxes to top earners as recently as 2016 to a top rate of 5%. This is an area that we can focus on to make our state budget more balanced while addressing growing inequalities in our state.

If we restore our state income tax to 6% for high-income earners (over $200,000 per couple) and 7% for top income earners (over $400,000 per couple) we can begin to address the near billion dollars that has been lost annually since the 2000's.

We have seen time and time again that income tax cuts do not help the average family. In Oklahoma, "Over 70 percent of the benefit from cutting the top rate has gone to households in the top fifth in annual income."

If we want to fund public education, keep rural hospitals open, and improve our public infrastructure we have to find new sources of revenue. Increasing the top income tax rate is a much-needed step for Oklahoma.

 
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Authorized and paid for by Kyle Meraz for District 64